a city under oblast jurisdiction in Chernigov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. It is located 83 km southeast of Chernigov and 126 km northeast of Kiev, on the Oster River, a tributary of the Desna. The city is a railroad junction, with lines to Chernigov, Kiev, Bakhmach, and Priluki, and a highway nexus, with roads to Chernigov, Oster, Priluki, and Bakhmach. Population, 62,600 (1974).
Nezhin is first mentioned, as Unenezh, in the Hypatian Chronicle under the year 1147. Originally it belonged to the ancestors of the Polish King Sigismund; around 1500 it was annexed by Moscow, but under the Deulino Truce of 1618 it reverted to Poland. At the beginning of 1648 the city was liberated by a peasant and cossack army and became the administrative center of the Nezhin Polk (1648–1782). Under the Armistice of Andrusovo (1667), the city passed to Russia. In 1708 it became a part of Kiev Province, and beginning in 1802 it was a district capital in Chernigov Province. In the second half of the 17th century it became one of the centers of the Ukraine’s domestic and foreign trade. With the opening of the Gymnasium of Higher Learning in 1820, the city became one of the cultural centers of the Chernigov area.
Soviet power was established here on Jan. 18 (31), 1918. In March 1918 the city was occupied by German and Austrian troops and later by Petliura’s and Denikin’s forces. On Nov. 21, 1919, Red Army units liberated the city. In 1923, Nezhin became the administrative center of Nezhin Okrug, and in 1930, of Chernigov Okrug. Since 1932 it has been part of Chernigov Oblast. On Sept. 13, 1941, Nezhin was occupied by fascist German troops, and it was liberated by the Soviet Army on Sept. 15, 1943. Nezhin’s industries include an engineering plant, the Progress Plant, the Nezhinsel’mash Plant, and factories producing paint and varnish, rubber goods, and building materials. Among food-processing enterprises are a cannery producing Nezhin pickles and other canned vegetables, a vegetable-oil combine, a meat-packing combine, and a dairy. Light industry is represented by a garment factory and a factory producing art objects. Nezhin has a pedagogical institute, a technicum for the mechanization of agriculture, a cultural-educational school, and a medical school. There is a museum of local lore.